Worksop: Jury rules man died after being crushed by fork lift truck

An inquest jury has ruled that a Worksop man died as a result of injuries sustained from a crash between two fork lift trucks.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 19th December 2013, 10:32 am
The Wilkinson's Distribution Centre where the accident happened
The Wilkinson's Distribution Centre where the accident happened

George Hancock, 52, died at Bassetlaw Hospital following the crash which occured at Wilkinson’s Distribution Centre in Worksop on 5th December, 2011.

Initially, it was thought Mr Hancock had suffered a heart attack and that was killed him and also led to the crash, rather than the crash itself being the cause of death.

But the jury at Nottingham Coroner’s Court unanimously agreed that that the cause of death was solely down to the crash.

And they were duly guided by assistant coroner for Nottinghamshire, Mr Andrew McNamara, to record a conclusion of accidental death.

In his summing up, Mr McNamara said that it was not in doubt that a collision had taken place and that Mr Hancock had died as a result of that collision and not from any heart issues.

“We heard from the pathologist Dr Hamilton, who carried out a post-mortem on Mr Hancock and he concluded that while there was some furring on Mr Hancock’s arteries, there was not enough to cause a heart attack,” said Mr McMamara.

“Dr Hamilton was clear in his conclusion that Mr Hancock died from traumatic asphyxiation.”

“He died as a result of suffering fatal injuries after being crushed, not from a heart attack.”

“It is also clear that this was an accident and there can be no other conclusion other than that.”

“Neither of the drivers involved in this set out to collide with the other.”

“When the accident occurred, the driver of the other fork lift involved was going along at a slow speed with his forks raised, ready to deposit a load onto a another load he had already taken to an area of the building.”

“His arc of vision was restricted and he could not see Mr Hancock’s fork lift, essentially Mr Hancock was invisible to him.”

“He also said he did not even expect Mr Hancock to still be there working at the time the accident occurred.”

“But it all amounts to the fact that a collision did take place and that Mr Hancock was thrown from his vehicle as it seems he was not wearing his seat belt.”

“He suffered fatal injuries after being crushed when his fork lift toppled over and landed on top of him.”

“To that end, there is no other conclusion that can be reached other than this was death by accident. In a statement, Wilkinsons said they were aware that the inquest has taken place into the death of George Hancock.

“A company spokesman said: “Since the tragic accident,the company has provided every assistance to the Coroner in order to help determine the exact circumstances which led to George’s sad and untimely death.”

“We were devastated by the loss of George Hancock, a valued team member, who was fatally injured whilst carrying out his normal duties at our Worksop Distribution Centre.”

“Our thoughts, and those of his colleagues, are constantly with his family.”